Monday Evening Book Club June Selection

Best Kind of peopleThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet in the Training Room on June 12 at 7 pm. This month we’re discussing The Best kind of people by Zoe Whittall.

About the book…

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?
George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?
With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse. (Publisher)

Zoe Whittall is the author of The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (2001), The Emily Valentine Poems (2006), and Precordial Thump (2008), and the editor of Geeks, Misfits, & Outlaws (2003). Her debut novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) made the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year and CBC Canada Reads’ Top Ten Essential Novels of the Decade. Her second novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible (2009) won a Lambda Literary Award and was an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book. Her writing has appeared in the Walrus, the Believer, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Fashion, and more. She has also worked as a writer and story editor on the TV shows Degrassi and Schitt’s Creek. Born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, she has an MFA from the University of Guelph and lives in Toronto.

A Maisonneuve interview with Zoe Whittall

A CBC Radio interview with Zoe Whittall (with Shelagh Rogers)

Publisher’s discussion questions

A Globe and Mail article

A National Post book review

A Winnipeg Review book review

A CTV News story about an upcoming movie adaptation

A Toronto Star editorial about the Jian Ghomeshi trial



Monday Evening Book Club May Selection

The Monday Evening Book Club will meet in the Training Room on May 8 at 7last weynfeldt pm. This month we’re discussing The Last Weynfeldt by Martin Suter.

About the book

Adrian Weynfeldt is an art expert in an international auction house, a bachelor in his mid-fifties living in a grand Zurich apartment filled with costly paintings and antiques. Always correct and well-mannered, he’s given up on love until one night—entirely out of character for him—Weynfeldt decides to take home a ravishing but unaccountable young woman. The next morning, he finds her outside on his balcony threatening to jump. Weynfeldt talks her down and soon finds himself falling for this damaged but alluring beauty and his buttoned up existence comes unraveled. As their two lives become entangled, Weynfeldt gets embroiled in an art forgery scheme that threatens to destroy everything he and his prominent family have stood for. This refined page-turner moves behind elegant bourgeois facades into darker recesses of the heart. (Publisher)

Martin Suter, born in Zurich in 1948, is a novelist and screenwriter. He has written a dozen novels, many of them bestsellers in Europe and translated into thirty-two languages. Suter lives with his family in Zurich.

Review of The Last Weynfeldt (Gert Loveday’s Fun With Books)

Wikipedia article on Felix Vallotton

Eight of the Biggest Art Forgeries of All Time (Business Insider)

Interview with an art forger (YouTube)

Video of an art auction (Macleans)


Monday Evening Book Club April Selection

piano-makerThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor Training Room on April 10th at 7 pm. This month we’re discussing The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka.

About the book

Helene Giroux arrives alone in St. Homais on a winter day. She wears good city clothes and drives an elegant car, and everything she owns is in a small trunk in the back seat. In the local church she finds a fine old piano, a Molnar, and she knows just how fine it is, for her family had manufactured these pianos before the Great War. Then her mother’s death and war forces her to abandon her former life. The story moves back and forth in time as Helene, settling into a simple life, playing the piano for church choir, recalls the extraordinary events that brought her to this place. They include the early loss of her soldier husband and the reappearance of an old suitor who rescues her and her daughter, when she is most desperate; the journeys that very few women of her time could even imagine, into the forests of Indochina in search of ancient treasures and finally, and fatefully, to the Canadian north. When the town policeman confronts her, past and present suddenly converge and she must face an episode that she had thought had been left behind forever. The suspenseful, emotionally resonant, and utterly compelling story of what brings an enigmatic French woman to a small Canadian town in the 1930s, a woman who has found depths of strength in dark times and comes to discover sanctuary at last.
About the author

Kurt Palka was born and educated in Austria. He began his working life in Africa where he wrote for the African Mirror and made wildlife films in Kenya and Tanzania. He has worked on international stories for CTV and GLOBAL TV, wrote for American and Canadian publications such as the Chronicle Herald and the Globe and Mail, and worked as a Senior Producer for the CBC. The Piano Maker is his sixth novel. His previous work includes Clara, which was originally published in hardcover as Patient Number 7, and was a finalist for The Hammett Prize. He lives near Toronto. (adapted from )

A Globe and Mail interview

Publisher’s Reading Guide

A Toronto Star review

A Manitoban review

A Globe and Mail review

A London Free Press review

Monday Evening Book Club March Selection

The Monday Evening Book Club will meet on March 13 at 7:00 in the Training Room on the second floor to discuss Annabel by Kathleen Winter.


About the Book

In 1968, into the beautiful, spare environment of remote coastal Labrador, a mysterious child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once.

Only three people are privy to the secret — the baby’s parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbour, Thomasina. Together the adults make a difficult decision: to raise the child as a boy named Wayne. But as Wayne grows to adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting culture of his father, his shadow-self — a girl he thinks of as “Annabel” — is never entirely extinguished, and indeed is secretly nurtured by the women in his life. (Publisher)

Annabel was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. It was also a finalist in the 2014 Canada Reads competition on CBC Radio.

About the Author

Born in the north of England and raised in Newfoundland, Winter began her career as a script writer for Sesame Street before becoming a columnist for The Telegram in St. John’s. She is the author of a short story collection entitled boYs, her first novel Annabel, and most recently, a nonfiction book about the north entitled Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage. 

Kathleen Winter was a member of the jury for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. She lives in Montreal with her husband and daughter, and is the sister of novelist Michael Winter.

Kathleen Winter on boys, girls and writing Annabel (Globe and Mail)

Interview with Kathleen Winter in the National Post

Review in The Canadian Book Review

Review of Annabel in The Guardian

Review of Annabel in Newfoundland and Labrador Studies

A review of Annabel: “A failed effort to explore the complexities of intersexuality”


Monday Evening Book Club February Selection

precious-cargoThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor Training room on February 13 at 7 pm. Our pick this month is Craig Davidson‘s memoir Precious Cargo : my year driving the kids on school bus 3077.

About the book:

Surprising and revelatory non-fiction from a talented young writer whose last book, “Cataract City,” was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Trillium Book Prize, and was a Globe Best Book and national bestseller. In this new work of intimate, riveting, and timely non-fiction, based loosely on an award-winning article he published, Davidson tells the story of one year in his life – driving a school bus full of special-needs kids. Davidson shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the precious cargo in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society. (Publisher)

Craig Davidson’s website

Author biography on Wikipedia

Craig Davidson’s blog – reader questions

A Chatelaine interview

A Radio interview on CBC’s The Next Chapter

A TVO article and video interview

A CBC’s The Current podcast and transcript

A Globe and Mail review

A Quill and Quire review

Craig Davidson aka Nick Cutter